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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

BUSH PARDONS BORDER PATROL AGENTS

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

From the Associated Press:

In his final acts of clemency, President George W. Bush on Monday
commuted the prison sentences of two former U.S. Border Patrol agents
whose convictions for shooting a Mexican drug dealer ignited fierce
debate about illegal immigration.

Bush's decision to commute the
sentences of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who tried to cover up the
shooting, was welcomed by both Republican and Democratic members of
Congress. They had long argued that the agents were merely doing their
jobs, defending the American border against criminals. They also
maintained that the more than 10-year prison sentences the pair was
given were too harsh.

Rancor over their convictions, sentencing and firings has simmered ever since the shooting occurred in 2005.



I did not jump on the bandwagon of those demanding stiff sentences for Ramos and Compean because I just didn't think it was clear that the agents were acting with malicious intent. And so I will not criticize or praise the President for his actions. The jury made a judgment call and now the President has as well. I only hope that the case had the result of forcing the Border Patrol to look at its policies and training in order to reduce the likelihood that an unarmed person will be killed unnecessarily.

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Comments

  1. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    Disgusting. Republicans are just keep on pandering to the worst of the bigots.
  2. Grace's Avatar
    I get that the Border Patrol job is difficult. I get that the guy they shot was not a good guy. However, two law enforcement officers shot an unarmed man in the BACK, then proceeded to engage in an effort to conceal what they did. This was not simply doing their jobs - this was attempted murder, excessive force, and false evidence. That is why they were sentenced to more than 10 years in prison, and now they will serve less than 6 months in prison for their actions, thanks to Bush's handiwork.

    I'm relieved that the President didn't go so far as to pardon them, but what kind of message does this send to the public? Even when our officers engage in the most reprehensible actions, we will give them a get of jail free card, and they won't face the consequences of their actions.

    I'm not surprised that Bush did this, but I'm disappointed by it. That's not a new emotion with this administration, but at least his damage will stop in less than 24 hours.
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